Saturday, December 29, 2007

'tis the season

'tis the season to review last season (or the season that almost was)

i had big plans for 2007. interrupted by a couple broken bones. in between injuries, i managed a couple races, mostly running, with some good results for my first time racing..looking forward to a lot more triathlons next season, and much more structured training leading up to the vineman 70.3 half ironman in late july. here are the races i did do in 2007(race reports are hyperlinked):

Super Run 10k / 3rd age group, 6th overall (female) / 40:27
S1ue Krenn 15k /3rd AG, 6th overall (female) / 101:27
Xterra Makena Beach 10k trail race/ 1st AG, 6th overall (female) / 54:26
Mainly Masters 10k /1stAG, 2nd overall (female) / 41:35
Xterra Crystal Cove 15k trail race/ 1st AG, 2nd overall (female) / 113:30

TCSD September Club Race/ sprint triathlon- 1st overall female (okay, so not technically a real race, but my only triathlon so it's on the list for sure..)

2008 will hopefully be a lot busier, here is the plan:

1/20 carlsbad half marathon
2/3 xterra mission gorge 15k trail race
3/15 st. patrick's day 10k
4/6 carlsbad 5000 5k
4/27 la jolla half marathon (tentative)
5/3 spring sprint triathlon
5/17 xterra vail lake 21k trail race (regional championship)
6/29 san diego international triathlon
7/6 carlsbad triathlon (tentative)
7/20 vineman 70.3 triathlon
8/24 imperial beach triathlon

after that, things are up in the air, but i'd like to finish off the season with a century ride and possibly the xterra national trail running championships (september) and/or world championship (december) if i qualify through regional points series.

that's all i've got.
happy new year- cheers!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

east coast support crew

coming home to philadelphia for christmas is the best. the parents are recent empty nesters, so all 4 kids home at the same time is basically the most exciting thing ever for them....and us!

on christmas day, i mentioned that i might want to go running...most solo missions over the holiday quickly turn into a family affair (like today's father/daughter spin class), so next thing i know, 4 of us hopped in the car and drove out to the trails along the river at wissahickon valley park. we all started at the car and agreed to meet back in an hour and 10. ...
post family trail fun:

then we came home for a post-trail snackie...fruit salad and whole wheat blueberry muffies baked by mom.

after that it was "trip planning". my big christmas present was a vineman70.3 entry for july 20, 2008 plus a few days enjoying good food and wine country in sonoma, ca after the race...registration confirmed, hotels are booked, and i'm on my way to my first half ironman...merry christmas, beth, now get your ass in that pool! ....

Monday, December 24, 2007

this time last year...

with only one week left in 2007, its time to look back on what a difference a year makes. this might be a touch cheesy, but in years to come, i think it will be great to look back and realize just how much can happen, and how much you can learn in just a year.
it is truly nuts for me to think that this time last year i had NEVER done any of the following

1) run more than 6 miles
2) run in a running race of any distance
3) run on a track
4) run on a trail
5) been on a bike with more than one gear
6) clipped into pedals
7) biked more than maybe 2 miles (to the beach or the bar)
7) swum (swam? whatever) a lap since high school
8) swum more than a mile
9) swum (swum is starting to sound odd) in open water past where the waves break
10) heard of garmin, zoot, gu, de soto, body glide, foam roller, chamois butter (still haven't used it), compression tights, chip timing, circle swim, base pace, tempo runs, arm warmers, toe covers, galloway, daniels, macca, stadler, michellie, friel or any bike company besides schwinn or huffy
11) thought these letters would mean anything to me: ART, LT, Z1, HRM, BPM, AET, T1, T2, AG
12) worn bike shorts, bought functional sunglasses, or even considered that "tri shorts" existed
13) thought about double knotting my shoes before a run so i don't get dropped
14) known the friday night TV lineup (watch the soup on E! at it)
15) known that there was any difference between triathlon bikes or road bikes (or materials bikes are made of)
16) read a blog
17) dreamed of starting a blog (aren't those for geeks who stay home on friday nights?...uh wait a second..see #14)
18) known there was more than one ironman or that there were shorter triathlons
19) checked out a guy's bike before his face....or the legs of every guy at the gym for shave-age
20) been in a real bike shop
21) been asked out on a date in a bike shop (& twice on crutches!-those things are dude magnets)
22) shamelessly accepted all bike dates (or non-date dates) even if not interested purely to ride with someone better than me and learn new routes
23) considered the following to be appropriate first dates: open water swim, 40 mile bike ride in spandex, refueling
24) imagined i'd meet this guy (my long lost boy twin) as a result of one of those dates (or non-dates, it wasn't a date date, just a bike ride, right?)
25) received a medal of any kind, even a finishers medal
26) broken a bone (femur), or even had an x-ray
27) broken a second bone (radius)
28) aqua jogged (result of broken bone #1)
29) been photographed in spandex
30) realized for sure how everything truly happens for a reason. if i hadn't made my new years resolution last year to run a marathon, i never would have joined the san diego track club, broken my hip, bought a bike and got in the pool as result of broken hip (never ever crossed my mind to bike or swim beforehand), and the rest is all leading up to next year which i hope is a good healthy one and my first real season of triathlon...

i think i have a couple more posts before the new year...goals, and reflections and such about this past non-season season and my plans for world domination in 2008.
sitting here freezing in philadelphia and enjoying the holidays with the coolest family ever. merry christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

15k trail race-xterra crystal cove

today i did the xterra crystal cove 15k trail race. james had originally signed up to do it, but it sold out before i could register. being the nice dude that he is, he transferred his entry to me and decided to watch me suffer instead. i really had no idea what to expect going into it because you can't possibly decide your pace or anything when the first 3 miles are pretty much straight uphill. my plan was just to keep moving.
so, we woke up bright and early and headed up to newport beach, ca in the heart of the OC
here's me and james all hoodied out.

ready to race..james told me to look tough when he took this video. apparently this is my toughest pirate growl. sad.

i also met up with mark from the san diego tri club pre-race...he's big into trail running and great to chill with pre and post-race. way to help the tri club represent on the trails!
i have to thank james for his fantastic photography skeelz, i particularly like the following pre-race focused....
so the race began and the initial climb or "BFH" as the race directors called it (can you figure it out?) kicked my ass. you can see the BFH-ness on this course elevation profile...

it was slow going but i kept myself going knowing that the toughest part would be over soon enough. the last six miles of the race were awesome- lots of climbs (very fun!) and descents (not as fun)and possibly the most beautiful run i've been on. once we were on top of the mountains, the trails went over ridges for miles with perfect views of the ocean. and the weather was killer- mid 50's and sunny.

so anyway, after the BFH, i powered through, paced myself pretty well and finished 2nd woman overall! i was beat by this chick....someone said her name is heather fuhr or something. apparently she is fast :)so it was a great race for me. although there was no pro division, i was the first amateur female overall. and i felt pretty good about being second to an ironman world champion. here are the results:

2/73 female overall (1st amateur, 1st AG)
18/201 overall (the winner did an hour flat)

after the race, i put on my sweet new skins compression tights hoping for the miraculous recovery powers they promise and watched james ride off down the coast- he decided to charge the 50+ mile ride back to san diego from the OC (great multi-tasking demonstration of how to be support crew and get in your workout). here he is in his mafia racing gear..

finished off the day with some couch time (go chargers!), and a good dinner with some wine. not bad at all. overall it was a fun race that i'm glad i did and a kick ass workout in my carlsbad half marathon prep (4 wks to go!). it also really made me realize how great it is to have someone like james on my team. he reminded me to hydrate and eat and warm up properly and all the things a non-kick ass triathlete boyfriend wouldn't be nearly as good at.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

solana beach tuesday trail run

This week i've been focusing on running, strength training, and still thinking about getting back outside on my bike and in the pool. it's been cold for san diego, and this makes it a lot harder for me to motviate. besides the fact that grad school somehow made its way onto the priority list this week. i'm in my 1st year of post-master's work in educational psychology and i am also working on a federal research project on early intervention for kids with autism. these past couple of weeks have been brutal, but winter break is coming soon! i've still been able to squeeze in some good sessions and have been enjoying my weekly interval run on trails in san elijo lagoon, just west of the ocean in solana beach, ca.

the trails wind around the edge of the lagoon and drop you off in rancho santa fe..
word to the trails ....nice and soft on the legsthe run i do is out and back from 7.5-8miles and exactly an hour:
15 minute warm up
4 X 6 minute intervals close to tempo pace (6:45-7min/mi)
each interval is followed by 2 minutes of recovery
15 minute cool down.
i love this run because it goes by so fast and its one of my only runs where i feel like i really do a "proper" warm-up and cool down.

other than that, i've spent this week doing more runs, on the trainer, in spin class and working on strength in the gym. i was going to go on a bike ride today and build some more confidence out there, but i just realized i left my darn bike shoes at james'...who by the way just posted some good stuff on base training...good reminders for me, and good material for me to convince him to go out on a ride or run with me (not supposed to go over zone 2, right?)..

this week my workouts are pretty easy because i'm running in the 15k xterra crystal cove trail race this weekend...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

bring on december

hot mama! this is my college friend and old roommate , christine. the other day we went yogging with her baby, jack. jack's about 4 months old and mom is already back to her fighting weight. i'm impressed.

i started week one (of eight) training for the carlsbad half marathon. i'm not following a specific training plan because i can't run more than 3/4 times a week (trying not to put stress overload on my femur) and i want to fit in some bike sessions and soon some swims as well. i also want to focus on building leg, core, and upper body strength at the gym to get my bod ready for training in 2008. although i am training seriously for the half marathon, my other main focus in december is to "injury proof" myself for the coming year. this means no overdoing it and working on building bone strength, muscle strength and endurance.

today i ran a 10k race with the San Diego Track Club to get a baseline for my training and set some pacing goals. the run, although flat, was pretty brutal with 20/25 mile an hour, headwinds for about half the course. it was like hitting an invisible wall. not so fun. honestly, i forgot how much it can suck to run hard. the winning female came in at 41 minutes. not your pr course. the second woman came in at 41:50 and that was me! so i was pretty happy with the finish, and won my age group. i was only disappointed that i didn't go under 40 minutes, but i think some of this was course conditions (and some of it is me needing to get faster!). the winner, Kelly, often goes under 40 minutes in 10ks so that gives me some hope and something to work for in 2008.

post-race was a good time as i got to catch up with my SDTC buddies, lots of whom i haven't seen since i disappeared last march. it was good to see the same people and it was fun to do well. right before my stress fracture last year, the SDTC had asked me to run for their women's open team, so this was actually my first race for the team (they kindly didn't kick me off in my extended hiatus)..

post-race with karen...brrr! (for so cal at least)
on a final note, i'm still working on finishing my race plan for 2008. originally it was focused on a marathon and some sprint and olympic distance triathlons, and maybe a 70.3...but with the opening of ironman arizona in november 2008, i noticed lots and lots of people from my triathlon club signing up. and now i'm questioning -to ironman or not to ironman? working on weighing out the pros and cons:
++++ the "do it do it" column+++++: tons of training partners, and an ENTIRE summer off (i'll be entering my final year of grad school and i can pretty much do what i want- i know, life is rough.) i originally was going to plan some travel, but now i'm thinking that not everyone gets the opportunity for a few months in san diego to "train like a pro". eat, train, eat, sleep, eat, train, eat, relax, eat, sleep. and i may never get this chance to train like this again.
-----the "you're crazy" column ----: i've never even done a real triathlon, and only a small handful of short running races (15k and under). i'm recovering from 2 broken bones in '07 from separate incidents and need to build gradually. and do i want to risk burning myself out in my first real season?

any advice? please!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"injury phase" wrap up

so this post is mostly about wrapping up my "injury phase" and moving on to my "preparation phase". throughout my broken arm situation, i've actually been pretty consistent maintaining some basic fitness..although i hadn't swum or been on my bike outside, i've put in a solid hour, sometimes a little more six days a week doing some form of cardio. usually about once a week, i would do 1:30 or 1:45 but the last time i did anything endurance-wise over 2 hours was the bike crash ride in september...but, overall i've put in some solid trainer sessions, spin classes, some elliptical (lame....not my fave), treadmill, and now roads and trails.
this past weekend was also my first time out on the road and over 2 hrs in over 2 months (i just went to fiesta island- a flat, one way loop with little traffic) to get back onto the bike. i will start swimming again in december...

here's what i did this week:
sunday: 1 hr. trail run w. triathlon club of san diego- 7+ miles & 10 min core
monday: trainer workout- 1:30- spinervals DVD and my own other stuff thrown & 10 min core
tuesday: 1 hr spin class & strength-legs (15 min- weighted squats, lunges, & plyo stuff)
wednesday: 8.5 mile slow run with my buddy chris from san diego track club
thursday: 1 hr. on the trainer
friday: off
saturday: brick: 2 hr ride on fiesta island- first time on the road since accident in september. no hills, nothing big, just getting used to riding. 35 minute run (one loop 4.3 mi. of fiesta island
sunday: 11 mile trail run with a group from the San Diego Triathlon Club

my training over the next 9 weeks is going to be run focused and slowly building back bike and swim. i decided to sign up for the carlsbad half marathon- it will be my first! more on that and the plan for 2oo8 in my next post.

this month, there is another de soto ad in the december Inside Triathlon (p.64)
and they sent me a dealer CD of the new 2008 line that is kind of like the electronic catalog. here are some pictures from there

Monday, November 5, 2007

Maui part 2- wrapping it up...(and gnarly gnees)

i'd would just like to say that i think that i am a fantastic spectator...tattooed and all for james' big race.. the whole trip to maui was excellent, and my race was fun, but the best part was definitely race day watching xterra worlds...the day was perfect. absolutely beautiful and the temperature felt nice to me, but i's sure it was blazing on the course...
james had an incredible race for his second season of triathlon. right up there with the pros:
39th Overall
8th Amateur (2nd American)
4th AG (1st American)
the most incredible part is that he beat his course time from '06 by over 20 minutes! i just looked over the splits and his year-to-year improvement is just insane- last year his bike split was 92nd and this year it was 43rd. that's pretty much 50 more dudes he smoked on the bike this year....i think i've found me a bike coach :). hopefully if i keep cheering him on at races he won't drop me too often :) ..enough's some pictures

the swim......the support crew...james has a traveling band of shaven dudes that hang together at all their xterra races...the band have their wives and relatives..a great group to hang out with during race time...and wait and wait and wait and think every guy that passes is one of "ours"- its actually pretty comical sometimes.....lots of girls asking, "is that him?" ...sort of like those "can you hear me now?" commericals.

almost there, 10 yds to go....
james after the race. seriously....that's some grime
okay...that's the end of the maui trilogy...

and just a little gross addition. my gnarly gnees 1 week post orange-cone episode..see, i wasn't kidding about the wipeout...not very lady-like, i know...
and just a last little picture i took this past weekend in darien, ct, (been logging some serious travel hours) -the view from my grandma's porch looking over holly pond. she died last week and this sunset is almost as awesome as she was....a great one to remember her by- though she is one that would be real tough to forget.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Maui, part 1.....xterra trail run- race report

this kid does hill repeats between nap and snack time....

last weekend i went to maui, hi to watch james kill it in the xterra world championships. we arrived on friday and went for a quick jog in the neighborhood of kihei where we were staying.
we quickly scoped out a bunch of local coffee shops and fish taco spots. it was nice to get outside since i'd been holed up all week in san diego from the wildfires.
here's a pit stop on the run.....pretty much says, "welcome to maui, biatch!"
after the run, we headed to the race site at the maui prince hotel.
as we headed down to the race site, i got the race bug and decided to sign up for the xterra maui makena beach 10k trail run. the run follows the exact run course of the full xterra and is actually 11k of serious climbs, beach running, lava rocks and coral....not your PR type of cruiser- the overall winner finished in 46+ minutes. the xterra trail run series is actually just starting to pick up speed and next year they have regional and national points series and a world championships in 2008. i had never really thought about trail running competitively, but given my recent hip stress fracture, running on surfaces that are more forgiving than concrete would be pretty good for me and i thought i'd check it out.
so here's on earth did that race packet get in my hand?!?

i was stoked for the race, but given my broken arm and just having gotten the ok to "jog" the week prior, i told myself i'd take it easy, especially in tricky spots like downhills and rocky stuff. so we picked up the race packets, headed for an early dinner at jawz fish tacos (they have one serious salsa bar- corn salsas, melon salsas, all of it), hit the jacuzzi with a glass of wine, checked out the perfect sunset and made it an early night.

race day
saturday i got up early and headed to the race site in time to get in a good 15 minute warm-up. since the whole thing was last minute and i really wanted to take it easy, i was completely mellow and didn't even think about the run until the gun went off. once the race started, it was on. as much as i try to hold back, i get this thing in my head where i just go. my plan after the start was to open it up for the first mile that was on pavement. i figured this was the "safest" part of the run and a surface i was used to. i started out in a pack near the front but not all the way up. i was keeping a good pace behind 3 guys and feeling great. all of a sudden, i was flat out on my face on the pavement. I RAN OVER A FREAKING ORANGE CONE AND FACE PLANTED. during this minute or so of shock, i assessed the damage- arm didn't feel good, and knees were really scraped up and bloody. during this time, 2 women and a bunch of men passed me. i decided to keep going. damage was done, right? but, i was slower and more cautious than had the accident not happened. i just wanted to make it to the end. the whole thing slowed me down a lot and i felt sort of traumatized the rest of the race realizing that my arm was not perfect and it was a dumb move to race before it was healed...i can't say i wasn't warned.. but of course this all happens on the most innocuous part of the course, not even some gnarly trails....ASPHALT. CONE. EMBARRASSINGLY HILARIOUS...IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE TO BE THIS ACCIDENT PRONE?
so the race goes on. after the asphalt debaucle, the course gets legitimate and i spent the next 2 miles climbing up a mountain, then hit some sections of lava rocks, 2 brutal beaches, the "spooky" forest and over some coral and past a golf course for the final stretch.
glad to be finished:

these are the results:

finishing time: 54:26
21/172 overall
6th female overall
1st in age group (20-29).. i got to go up on a real podium for the first time ever! and i got 2 lbs of kona coffee (score!) and some gift certificates to a local cafe...

i learned some things at this race:

1) don't race until you are healed. racing semi injured is dumb. listen to other people...they may know your limits better than you do.

2) even if i say i'm going to take it easy to everyone else and to myself before a race, i will not take it easy. i do not have this ability.

3) i have only run a handfull of times since march. no trails, no hills, no long runs over an hour. i still did pretty well by winning my age group after a bad fall and setback of at least a minute or two...if i train, i think i can do a lot better. i just need to train smart

4) i need to get serious about planning 2008: as i try to plan out next year, i want to do a combination of triathlons, stand alone road running races to get some base times (i've only run one 10k and one 15k. i have no times at any other distance) and now maybe see how i can do at an xterra trail running series...i really need to focus my goals to narrow things down to a doable amount of races and really prioritize...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

maui part .5 : halloween

although this post is not directly triathlon or training related, it does involve a man in tights so it's fair game...

before dinner:after dinner (and a couple red bull vodkas...)

james is one hot olsen twin.... more on the full maui trip- racing and relaxing....on the way

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


wildfires broke out throughout san diego county on october 21st...covering hundreds of thousands of acres. the fires are still burning through countless residential areas, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes and the full extent of the destruction is still unknown. i went to work unknowingly on monday morning and left an hour later. james was being evacuated from his place in la costa and we rolled straight to my place downtown. the pictures here are some photos from the drive from james' house to mine...smoky smoky skies
this one is james' truck- loaded up with our dueling orbeas of course- couldn't leave those bikes behind!
here they are, safe at home...

back at my place we have been chilling as the entire county has pretty much shut down for the week. no school or work, pure hibernation. would be a great time to train, but the air quality is too poor to spend time outside. as a result, we've been hitting the treadmill and the bike trainer. ....
this is james on the trainer yesterday- look how stoked he is!....i just scream at him the whole time and tell him to work harder..i have a whistle and everything- as a fantastic coach should :)

hopefully the fires will slow very soon and we can begin to help the community rebuild. there has been lots of volunteering and donations throughout our triathlon club and its great to see triathletes open their homes for each other...the message boards have been flooded with offers of help...
as of wednesday morning, things don't look good yet. there have been over 1300 homes destroyed, 500,000 homes evacuated, and the entire county is in a state of emergency. if anyone out there needs some help, let me know!

that's it for now. this friday i'm off to cheer james on in maui as he goes for it at the xterra world championships

bonfires to wildfires

this past weekend, i headed out to borrego springs, ca with the triathlon club of san diego for some camping and training and drinking and eating. since i've been m.i.a. at most club events since i broke my arm, it was really great to catch up with all my tri friends and relax in good company. most of the campers, there were probably close to 100 in total, did a major bike ride on saturday mornings. when my friends returned exhausted and frustrated, i wasn't too sad that my arm had kept me from fighting the monstrous tailwind.
instead of the bike ride, i hiked with matt to an oasis near camp.heading out to hike...

we followed up the hike with a 7 mile run where we ran into lots of the demoralized bikers heading back sloooooooowly or in the sag wagon.

once everyone regrouped at camp, we pretty much ate and ate and ate and drank. in true tri club fashion, there was more than enough incredible food including some tasty healthy options. like
fresh sweet corn chowder
and solid salads
and then we did a lot of chilling.....i caught up with jen and friends and talked ironman strategy with kevin (in the picture below) as he's getting ready for IM florida in less than two weeks!
i also sat around eating a bag of cucumbers with some new folks i hadn't met before. nothing like bonding over some big old vegetables...
after working my way through all the healthy fruits, veggies and grilled chicken, i GOT DOWN on some major home baked cookies, brownies and cake...transfatalicious and enjoyed every bite. my original plan was to stay the night and run the "hilltop" challenge- a tradition where everyone scrambles up a mountain for prizes, but my leg had been nagging a bit from the day's run, so i went home to give it a rest.....the next day, wildfires broke out all around san diego county, originating in the town closest to our camp site...more on those in a few hours

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

santa cruz & healing up

being in santa cruz, ca is about enjoying life at the beach in norcal just like these little guys...they know how to spend a saturday- nothing better than a good surf and some ice cream.

one of my best friends from vanderbilt, ashley, got married last weekend in santa cruz, ca at chaminade...the doc had given me the ok for some light jogging, so i took a cruise to capitola, a sweet little beach town near santa are some pictures from that run- about 3.5 miles each way...

Chilling with some friends at my run turnaround who were there eating lunch....they were all wondering about the laptop on my arm..sometimes you forget that "Garmin" is not considered a life source to folks in general
after my run to capitola, a trip into downtown santa cruz for some shopping and food, and some mimosas by the pool, i was beat, but ready for a big night! here are a couple pre and post shots
a) sweaty with the bride
b) all cleaned up!
the weekend was a blast- everyone at the wedding was out to have a good time and the rolling stones cover band took the dance floor to a whole new level. regressing back to my college days with four of my favorite partners in crime was a great hiatus from daily life...cheers!
oh, and as for the arm, my 4 week x-ray showed some new bone forming, but not enough for the go ahead for daily life. still no weight bearing, swimming, or biking for 4 more weeks. ick! but bearable...the end is near!